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Indian Notch Park Installs New Rain Garden Thanks to Pratt & Whitney Grant

By Barbara Bresnahan | Correspondent
EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pratt & Whitney is among several leading industry and non-profit organizations that are dedicated to the promotion and advancement of environmentally innovative activities, including green technology and efficiency projects. Each year, the corporation meets, and exceeds, its environmental goals and continually reaches out to communities by providing grants, volunteer manpower, mentoring projects and much more.

On Oct. 19, the Friends of Bolton Lake installed a rain garden at Indian Notch Park on Lower Bolton Lake in Bolton, Conn., thanks to a Pratt & Whitney Green Power Grant.

A recent Pratt & Whitney retiree, Mike Morris, who is also a member of the Friends of Bolton Lake, told the group of the Green Power Grant program, and Friends of Bolton Lake's Shelly Jewell initiated the application process with help from Pratt & Whitney's Kathleen Sandin to eventually secure funding.

Equipped with a wealth of information and expertise from UConn's Mike Dietz, the Friends of Bolton Lake board determined that the rain garden was the project they wanted to embark upon.

"It linked the lake association with the town of Bolton and a Bolton High School senior [David Cowles, now a UConn student] to do a project that would benefit the town, the lake and the state," said Jewell.

Cowles' plan for the functional rain garden, which was his senior project, included a variety of colorful native and perennial plants. The rain garden, which will collect storm water runoff, is hoped to reduce the amount of pollutants that leave the grounds and enter the nearby lake, reducing the need for costly municipal storm water treatment structures.

Cowles, together with Friends of Bolton Lake members and Bolton town employees, completed the majority of the installation work on the Oct. 18, and a bench acknowledging the project and Pratt & Whitney's funding was put in place the following Thursday.

"Members of Friends of Bolton Lake will come back later in the fall to cut plants back, if need be, and in the spring to weed, add mulch if needed, etc.," said Jewell. "The rain garden is a public display exemplifying how residents, town, state and private industry representatives can work together to develop attractive and environmentally sound solutions for a healthy watershed."

Launched in 2008, Pratt & Whitney's Green Power Grant program provides grant money to U.S. employee volunteers for clean up, habitat restoration and environmental education programs. For more information about Pratt & Whitney's corporate responsibility and grant opportunities, visit http://www.pw.utc.com/environmental_leadership and http://www.pw.utc.com/corporate_citizenship.

Photo Credit:

Photos by Michael Buckson

Photo Caption:

Photo 1: The Friends of Bolton Lake installed a rain garden on Oct. 19, 2013 with funds from a Pratt & Whitney Green Power Grant. Pictured are (left to right) Jerry Lalancette, Graham MacDonald, Sandra Fox-Plummer, Peter VanDine, Cheri Smith, Kim Welch, Holly MacDonald, Shelly Jewell, Leona Crosskey, Mark Turkington and David Cowles.

Photo 2: The Friends of Bolton Lake's Shelly Jewell (front), who initiated the grant application process with Pratt & Whitney, poses with volunteers who helped install the rain garden at Indian Notch Park on Oct. 19. The design was created by then-Bolton High School senior David Cowles (right).